Charmed by panettone gastronomico

During the event to present the Identità Golose guide, the sweet and savoury notes of Marco Pedron impressed everyone. He filled the panettone made by Alberto Roffia, a 4-handed job between the pastry labs of Cracco and Alvin's

Marco Pedron virtually offers us a mini sweet ver

Marco Pedron virtually offers us a mini sweet version of a classic savoury panettone gastronomico. To his right, his collaborator Carlotta Filipazzi, to the left, Edoardo Traverso, resident chef at Identità Golose Milano in Via Romagnosi; opposite, Vilma Masha, pastry chef in Via Romagnosi

In mid-February, Marco Pedron, manager of the pastry lab at Carlo Cracco's Galleria in Milan, posted, in a chat with other pastry professionals, the photo of a fabulous, charming panettone gastronomico. We've all eaten some, here and there, usually mediocre, dry and with boring fillings. This one, instead, oozed elegance, life, and freshness. So when we were deciding what to offer during the presentation of the Identità Goloseguide, on March 18th at the hub in Via Romagnosi, we had no doubts: panettone gastronomico, but not just any one. We wanted the one created and prepared by Pedron.

This resulted in a stimulating process that led the pastry chef to present three different options, all very unique from the very beginning. Firstly, for practical reasons, Marco used the panettoni made by Alberto Roffia, the owner of Alvin's, a very classic and delicious pastry shop in 141 Via Melchiorre Gioia. Then he took care of the fillings, in collaboration with Edoardo Traverso and Vilma Masha, chef and pastry chef at Identità Golose Milano.

The two excellent savoury panettoni gastronomici created for the presentation of the Identità Golose guide. They're covered in powdered raspberries for the vegetarian option, and with pistachios for the classic one 

The two excellent savoury panettoni gastronomici created for the presentation of the Identità Golose guide. They're covered in powdered raspberries for the vegetarian option, and with pistachios for the classic one 

One was classic, the other vegetarian, and then there was a third, sweet one, a mini panettone gastronomico signed by Cracco. Let's go in order. In the traditional one, we chose Prawns in cocktail sauce; Russian salad with ham; Chicken, celery and mustard; Smoked salmon and a light lemon butter; finally Veal in tuna sauce. In the vegetarian one, not vegan because of the eggs used for the pan brioche, there was Pumpkin cream with maple syrup, toasted cocoa beans, almonds; Artichokes, candied lemon, walnuts in salt and liquorice; Cream of beetroot, taggiasche olives, roasted lettuce heart marinated with ginger; Sautéed mushrooms, pearà sauce with Timut pepper, almond ricotta with sage; and then Pappa al pomodoro.

Pedron explained: «Panettone gastronomico is not a starter, but a finger food that must strike the guests with its elegance. It's visually impressive but also simple because you must enjoy it with your hands. For instance, when baking it, the bubbles of air must be neither too big nor too small. In the first case, the sauce will drip, and the bread will be soaked in it. In the second, you'll loose the seasoning».

Once you pull out the panettone from the oven, you must cut it very carefully. It's so soft you can't use the usual slicing machines you can find in bakeries; their movement is too strong. There's a special machine that slices with a string. It's as if you were dealing with a soft cheese or with polenta. And this thin cable must be slightly warmed up, just like when you cut polystyrene with a saw. This is why few people will make this type of panettone. There are too many delicate steps. Of course, you can buy one and then fill it yourself, but it's best to choose a place where you're sure they do it properly and find an agreement on the taste.

The panettoni made by Pedron and Roffia last week had five layers and were cut vertically so that the different tiles were then placed in a slightly misaligned way so that the panettone would not fall over during the service. Just like when a bricklayer builds a wall.

Souvenir photo taken by Claudio Ceroni

Souvenir photo taken by Claudio Ceroni

As for the sweet mini panettone, imagine the small ones you usually find by the bar counter, or in train stations or petrol stations on the motorway. The kind that is usually dry, with little aroma, and little candied fruits and raisins. Now forget all that. A few cubic centimetres enclosed a Citrus chantilly cream, yuzu and bergamot gel, mousse of white chocolate and flakes of dark chocolate, soft biscuits aromatised with lemon, and a Mousse of mascarpone, passion fruit and bergamot gel, lemon caprese. And on top a puff pastry in the shape of a dome, with a mousse of chocolate, crushed samba cherries from Vista Mare, the farm owned by Carlo and Rosa Cracco in Sant’Arcangelo di Romagna.

It was a real treat for the eyes. But more than that as everyone then tried every option: five classic sandwiches, five vegetarian ones, and three sweet ones. This is what happens when you have authentic, sincere quality.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso 

Affari di Gola di Paolo Marchi

A mouth watering page, published every Sunday in Il Giornale from November 1999 to the autumn of 2010. Stories and personalities that continue to live in this website

Paolo Marchi


Paolo Marchi

born in Milan in March 1955, at Il Giornale for 31 years dividing himself between sports and food, since 2004 he's the creator and curator of Identità Golose.
blog www.paolomarchi.it
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